ASSIGNMENT 1 (Article Review)
Title : The Analysis of Urban Agriculture Development in Malaysia
Name : Nurul Alia Binti Abdul RazaliID Number : EIA160161
Lecturer : Dr. V.G.R. Chandran Govindaraju
The chosen article is ‘The Analysis of Urban Agriculture Development in Malaysia’ written by Rabiul Islam and Siwar Chamhuri. This article was established on March 2012. This article discuss on the current situation and future potential of urban agriculture. The article also highlight the urbanization that leads to food insecurity. The authors also emphasis the challenges of urban agriculture development and ways to overcome those challenges. Furthermore, this article research also investigated how agriculture activities can give impact on household’s food security and income especially in urban areas. Thus, the authors stated in the article what we should do to develop agricultural activities in urban areas as well as to improve performance of agriculture sector in Malaysia.

According to Islam ; Chamhuri (2012), urban agriculture (UA) can be defined as crop and livestock production activities that carry out in urban areas or sub urban areas. In other words, it is the practice of agricultural activities within urban and peri-urban periphery. The main issue in this article is urbanization that leads to poverty among city dwellers and food insecurity. Urbanization can be defined as the movement in population from rural to urban areas. It leads to an increase in population of urban areas. More people live in the cities which means the access of food is difficult. Urbanization and the globalization of the food system are causing several social, environmental, economic and political problems worldwide. Urban agriculture is a tool to provide nutritious food in urban areas. Urban agriculture could generate households’ income by providing food, employment and markets for other sectors in an economy. Usually, this sector practiced by lower socioeconomic status and low income households.

However, increasing in urban population which is urbanization causes the poverty in the cities. In low-income areas, people normally live in crowded conditions, with poor quality housing, poor or non-existent garbage collection, unsafe drinking water and non-functional or nonexistent sewage systems. In the urban areas of low and middle income countries some of the population are lacking access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation. Urban poor people often do not have physical access healthcare, and even when they do, they may not be able to afford it. All of these problems can cause urban poor people access to health problem. So, to reduce the urban poor, urban agriculture activity is one of the best solutions. It is because urban agriculture is a tool to provide nutritious food in urban areas.

An increasing in urban population also causes food insecurity. Urban agricultural (UA) practices as a tool to achieve food security, food sovereignty, sustainable urbanization and re-localization. According to the authors, food security exists when all people have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, culturally acceptable, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life through local non-emergency sources. Food security will be addressed to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of food, particularly rice for the general public. To achieve national food security, it is important for the country to protect existing farm areas and enlarge prime agriculture land, particularly the granary areas for rice cultivation.

Table 1: Sectoral performance under the Eighth and Ninth Malaysian Plan
Table 1 shows the sectoral performance under the Eighth and Ninth Malaysian Plan. The sector consists of mining, construction, agriculture, manufacturing and services. Based on the table 1, the agriculture sector is estimated to grow at a slower rate of 3.0% per annum on Ninth Malaysian Plan as compared to 3.2% per annum during the Eighth Malaysian Plan. The causes behind the slower growth rate are from the decreasing in the output of rubber and saw logs. It is due to a reduction in rubber hectares and controlled logging for sustainable forest management. Though, increases in the output of palm oil, livestock and fisheries supported the growth of the agriculture sector.

Table 2: Gross domestic product by industry origin, 2010-2020
Table 2 shows the gross domestic product (GDP) by industry. Based on the table above, services industry has the highest contribution to GDP in Malaysia which is 58.9% in 2010. Service’s share of GDP will increase from 58.9% in 2010 to slightly above 67% by 2020 While agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors contribute 7.5% to GDP which is lesser than services sector. Agriculture’s share of GDP will decrease from 7.5% to 5.2% by 2020. The agriculture sector is estimated to grow at a slower rate of 3.1% as compared to 2.6% in 2016 to 2020.

Furthermore, many urban agricultural projects failed because of inappropriate planning and implementation approaches such as top down and supply led approaches. The government play very important role to improve performance of agriculture sector. Thus, the authors listed few strategies considerations for successful urban agriculture. The strategies are integrated approaches, policy development, planned intervention, flexibility and innovation, diversity and participate planning. For integrated approaches, the authors stated that agriculture sector should not be excepted from urban development. Urban agriculture should be included in the urban development planning system so that it can contribute to the country’s revenue and functioning to generate a better economy for the country. Next, this policy development strategy is for the government to create a policy that can eradicate the urban poor to strengthen the country’s economic growth as urban economic growth will depend on the urban poor’s basic assets. In addition, this policy also can promote urban agriculture because urban agriculture has the potential to reduce urban poverty.
Furthermore, planned intervention is the private sector and the public should work together to provide support to urban agriculture, it is because the provision of access to a range of economic and technical support services are required for urban agriculture development. Flexibility and innovation, this strategy is very important to promote and develop urban agriculture and to achieve maximum results, the innovations that have been made must be successful. Next, diversity is the government should pay more attention on the problems faced by emerging commercial and small holder household food producers by providing support services to them plus different farmers have different needs. And the last strategy is participative planning. To carry out good planning, all parties at the community level must be interactive, participatory and collaborative to realize ownership especially at the community level. This should be supported by the coordination of services by different stakeholders. Major challenges were perceptions of limited resources, space and education. If all parties play a role and can jointly overcome the identified challenges, urban agriculture has the potential to contribute to sustainability.


1. Do you agree with the scholar’s views on the issues? Why or why not? Please provide convincing arguments of your own to support your views.
2. Review some other literatures and write a small brief on justifying the arguments put forward or to refute the author/s arguments. In doing so provide some examples.
Yes, I agree on the scholar’s views on increasing in urban population leads to poverty and food insecurity. Several studies show, one of the food production activities that have potential to increase food security is through urban agriculture activities There are many studies have been conducted shows, an urban agricultural activities has high potential to contribute to food security especially in urban area. Furthermore, there are reports show that the urban agriculture activities is an important food sources in the food system in developing countries and also is a major livelihood strategy for poor urban households. Urban agriculture is seen as an important activity especially in urban area. Pressure on food security was resulted from the declining of food production and increasing population, especially in urban areas.

Sawio (1993) indicated that urban populations worldwide are growing fast as a result of natural growth and rapid migration to the cities as people escape rural poverty, land degradation, famine, war, and landlessness. Feeding urban population adequately is a major problem in developing countries. Rural areas could no longer produce enough food to feed both rural and urban people and food importation is constrained.

The contribution of urban agriculture to food and nutrition security is probably its main strength, since agricultural production in cities provides the poorest with a greater access to food (Maxwell et al. 1998). An easier access to safe and nutritious food (mainly fresh products) helps to improve health conditions of the urban poor. However, the agricultural production in polluted areas of the cities may pose a serious threat to public health.
As previously indicated urban farming is a source of income for many urban poor, and it allows reducing the costs of food purchase, since it is estimated that those urban poor spend between 60 and 85 % of their income just to feed themselves (Mougeot 2005; Redwood 2008). This makes them highly exposed to food price hikes (Zezza et al. 2008; Dessus et al. 2008). The slum dwellers who grow their own food can provide food for their families and thereby reduce the costs of food purchase (Moustier and Danso 2006; IDRC 2011). Urban farming creates job opportunities (Agbonlahor et al. 2007) and stimulates the growth of enterprises in the related activities such as farming inputs, food processing, packaging and marketing (IIED 2011). Although urban agriculture does not appear to be the major urban economic activity, in a number of countries, there is a significant share of the urban population that relies on the production of crop and livestock products for their livelihoods (Zezza and Tasciotti, 2010).
In countries such as Malaysia, it also addresses food security by providing the urban dwellers with access to adequately nutritious, safe, acceptable and cost-effective food.  food security can be derived from urban agriculture since it provides sufficient quantities of food, appropriate nutrition, cost-effective food supplies and reduction in food bills. This highlights the need for the Malaysian urban authorities to give more appropriate recognition and contribution to city dwellers and encourage them to expand the practice of urban agriculture. In Malaysia, it is predicted that the urban population will increase to 75% in 2020.

For example, as world’s population increases, the urbanization process is moving in tandem, where more people are expected to live in the cities. Rapid urbanization process is pulling poverty and food insecurity into cities, given the fact that urban dwellers are actually net food buyers and depends largely on cash income to access food. In fact, they, especially urban poor, are vulnerable to food price shocks and always suffers most from higher food prices, which eventually could lead to food insecurity since food composes a substantial part of urban household expenditure.

Studies from both developed and developing economies claimed that urban agricultural activities can contribute to the availability of fresh and nutritious food items, reduction in food expenditure on food bills, and having direct access to varieties of food products. Having recognized the importance of urban agriculture, the Malaysian government gave their full support towards this activity. This can be seen from the formation of urban agriculture division under the Department of Agriculture Malaysia in 2010 to promote, among others, agricultural activities in the city to reduce the cost of living of the urban community.

Sawio (1993) indicated that urban populations worldwide are growing fast as a result of natural growth and rapid migration to the cities as people escape rural poverty, land degradation, famine, war, and landlessness. Feeding urban population adequately is a major problem in developing countries. Rural areas could no longer produce enough food to feed both rural and urban people and food importation is constrained.

To improve performance of urban agriculture in Malaysia, many people should play roles on this matter such as government, private sector and society. The government must give special focus on developing agriculture sector such as they can focus on developing comprehensive innovation and research development (R&D) infrastructures in selected urban area. Government also can promote modern farm technology and ICT in production processes, so that farmers can reduce their cost of production and can produce more output. Next, government should specific agricultural policies supported by zoning of high potential farming areas and private and public sector should partnership to provide good support services.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Islam, R., & Chamhuri, S. (2012). The Analysis of Urban Agriculture Development in Malaysia. Advances in Environmental Biology, 1068-1078.Rezai, G., Shamsudin, M. N., & Mohamed, Z. (2016). Urban Agriculture: A Way Forward to Food and Nutrition Security in Malaysia. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 216, 39-45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.12.006
Sawio, C. J (1993) Feeding the urban masses? Towards an understanding of the dynamics of urban agricultures and land use change in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Un-published Ph.D. Thesis, Clark University, Worcester Mass, USA.

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